U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the predictable consequences of Obamacare:
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a lot of hand wringing on the other side of the aisle over Obamacare, a little shock here, a little dismay there, and more than a little feigned outrage.
“What we haven’t seen, of course, is anything even approaching a good answer as to why the President told the American people one thing and did the other. Or a solution to the national crisis of millions of Americans — some with very serious medical conditions — heading into the holiday season having just been told they will lose their health care plans.
“The folks who voted for this law and the President whose name it bears did everything they could to keep these folks in the dark about the realities of Obamacare for more than three years.
“But the problems we’re seeing shouldn’t come as news to anyone – least of all our Democrat friends.
“Because what we’ve seen are the utterly predictable consequences of Obamacare.
“And the fact is, a lot of folks warned about these kinds of consequences coming to pass. But the President’s political machine just steamrolled anybody who spoke up. They laughed it all off. Dismissed everyone else as naysayers and cynics.
“When all the while they basically knew we were right.
“Countless independent experts, health-care professionals, and insurance authorities across the country all warned about what we’re seeing now.
“And so did many of us.
“If only the Democrats who run Washington had listened.
“But the President needed their votes for a bill he hoped would define his legacy, so they gambled that their constituents would just learn to live with Obamacare and forget the false promises.
“In other words, Washington Democrats were specifically warned about the kinds of consequences we’re seeing and they voted for Obamacare anyway.
“Republicans repeatedly warned about Americans losing their health plans. Repeatedly.
“We repeatedly warned about Americans losing access to their doctors and hospitals.
“We repeatedly warned about rising costs and skyrocketing premiums.
“Check the Congressional Record. We warned and we warned and we warned about each of these things.
“Frankly, we shouldn’t have had to. It doesn’t take an actuary to figure this stuff out.
“And the things my constituents now have to put up with as a result of this law they’re simply unacceptable.
“Kimberly Maggard from Nicholasville wrote that the health plan available to her through the Obamacare exchange would cost more than her family’s house payment and car payment combined.
“Here’s what she said: ‘We are just average Kentuckians working and living paycheck to paycheck without any assistance from government programs. I really don’t know what we will do if we have to pay that amount out for insurance. We might lose our home…our transportation…my daughter might have to drop out of college…the list just goes on and on. What are we supposed to do?’
“Harriet White from Rockfield said that Obamacare is negatively impacting her family’s finances and quality of care. ‘The sad truth,’ she said, ‘is that like my co-workers, my deductible has doubled along with my premiums. The only way to be able to adjust is for us to either reduce or stop our 401K contributions. This is hardly affordable health care.’
“And here’s Larry Thompson from Lexington: ‘[The] health plan that I’ve had for 10 years just got cancelled, and the least expensive plan on the exchange is a 246% increase – that means hundreds of extra dollars per month we don’t have.’
“Look: All of this is unacceptable. And so many of Obamacare’s consequences were basically predicted by Republicans years ago.
“So it’s no wonder vulnerable Democrats are dashing for the exits, performing political contortions that would make Houdini blush. But here’s the thing: until these folks are willing to face reality, I doubt it will matter.
“One of our colleagues on the other side was asked in 2009 if she’d accept ‘100% responsibility’ and ‘100% accountability’ for the failure or success of any legislation she voted for. She said she would.
“So she and her colleagues now have a choice.
“They can keep trying to distance themselves from Obamacare in public while simultaneously protecting it from meaningful change in private – to keep standing by as this trainwreck unloads on the middle class.
“Or they can simply accept that they were wrong to ignore all the warnings, then work with Republicans to repeal and replace Obamacare with real, bipartisan health care reform.
“If Washington Democrats are looking for a political exit, that’s the only meaningful one available.
“And if they’re looking for the best policy outcome – to do right by the people who elected them – they’ll reach the same conclusion too. That’s the good news.
“I hope they’ll get there soon.
“Because we’ve already seen Washington Democrats travel through just about every one of the stages of grief.
“Denial at first, claiming the law’s only problem was that it was just too popular.
“Then anger, pointing fingers of blame at contractors, Republicans, the media, really anyone but themselves.
“Then bargaining, proposing nips and tucks to a law that needs an overhaul instead.
“But for the sake of our country, let’s hope they just speed right along to acceptance – the acceptance that Obamacare can’t work and won’t work. And that their constituents deserve better.
“When they do, Republicans will be right here – just as we always have been – ready to work with them to start over with real reforms that decrease costs and improve access to care.
“That’s what our constituents have wanted all along. That’s just what we should give them.”